What's Happening In Your World
By: Victor “Doc V” Trammell During rapper T.I.’s interview on Hot 97 radio station this past week, he was asked about his previous incarcerations. The 32-year-old Grammy-winning recording artist sat down with Cipha Sounds, Rosenberg, and K.Foxx to address various issues. At one point during the interview, Cipha Sounds put Tip in the hot seat by asking him to address rumors about being a snitch to get a lighter sentence in his illegal gun possession case. T.I. went on the defensive end and urged people who believe he is an informant to go online and ”check his paperwork.” He also insisted that he lives by the “G-Code.” Paperwork is the documentation concerning pertinent elements of a criminal case. These documents are public record. Details concerning trial minutes, arraignment hearings, docket sheets, and plea agreements can all be found by a person who seeks to research any particular criminal case. T.I. went on to say that even notorious Black Mafia Family (BMF) co-founder Demetrius “Big Meech” Flenory publicly vouched for T.I. and dismissed the notion that the rapper ever cooperated with authorities. This discussion brings up the issues involving crime, law enforcement, and people in urban communities that deal with an adverse way of life. Back in 2004, the media rampantly sensationalized a street movement that started in Baltimore, Maryland. Rodney Bethea, an urban DVD filmmaker put out a documentary called “Stop Snitchin,” which brought attention to ongoing police corruption occurring in Baltimore. In the DVD, numerous individuals who claim to be drug dealers make threats against people who may turn them in for their illegal activities. The DVD set off a national movement that was eventually endorsed by rap artists. The central theme of the “Stop Snitchin” campaign was to discourage people from cooperating with police investigations of neighborhood street crimes. This type of rationale was present in inner-city streets well before the 2004 campaign got national attention. However, is this standard of silence known as the “G-Code” allowing black inner-city people to destroy themselves with impunity? Or are there legitimate situations where it may be a better idea to turn a deaf ear and blind eye to the police when they are probing you for information? For most of my childhood and teenage years, I grew up in urban Kansas City neighborhoods that were ruled by criminal businessmen and police officers who operated on both sides of the law. During those years, I witnessed many of my fellow classmates and neighbors involve themselves in a life of crime. A lot of them suffered the classic ending of  death or prolonged incarceration. I have witnessed the pain experienced by a single mother losing her only child. I have also seen a doting father get shipped off to prison because his so-called friend gave his name to the DEA. One case involves a homicide that hasn’t been solved to this day. The other case involves yet another black man locked away in the system unable to care for his needy family. Well ahead of writing this article, I had a talk with a childhood friend of mine (who chose not to be named) about whether or not cooperating with law enforcement is the right thing to do for the black community. My childhood friend permitted me to disclose his affiliation with a street gang started in the Juniper Gardens Housing Projects in northeast Kansas City, Kansas. I asked him to give the simplest interpretation of the G-Code he could give. “What it really means, pure and simple is that you don’t ever cooperate with the lawmen under any circumstances. You do the crime, you do the time,” he said. Further into the conversation, I raised a different question about a more complex scenario. I ask my friend what he might do if a loved one of his was kidnapped and held for a ransom he couldn’t afford to pay. ”I don’t know. If I couldn’t get the money and I knew where they [the kidnapper(s)] were at, I’d probably have to call the police,” he answered. I found it strange that it can be so easy to flip flop on an issue that is literally life and death. I would like to clarify that I do not in any way advocate those who commit murder or any crime that would result in the loss of human life. It is deplorable that there are people who have to live in fear of having their lives taken because they seek to give justice to a slain family member. If law enforcement wants better cooperation from the communities they seek to solve homicides in, they must ensure the protection of people who agree to testify against murder defendants. I have heard of too many situations where a person is brave enough to testify and secure a conviction only to get abandoned once the case is closed. The police then end up having to investigate another homicide for a dead person who was just on the witness stand. When people are committing murder with impunity silence is not golden. However, if law enforcement continues to alienate the community by committing brutality, corruption, and enforcing their own ”blue wall of silence” they will not gain the trust they need to prevent crime. Also, career criminals need to realize that when they are caught for non-violent crimes like drug dealing, they need to take responsibility for their actions. Informing on another guy who didn’t get caught to get a lighter sentence endangers family members and  the community as well. My friend did make one valid point in our conversation. If you do the crime, be prepared to do the time. Don’t jeopardize your family and the community for your own selfishness. Until more self governance and opportunity lands in urban neighborhoods, we’ll be singing the same old song.      

To Snitch or Not To Snitch? Cooperation With Law Enforcement & The So-Called ‘G-Code’

imagesBy: Victor “Doc V” Trammell

During rapper T.I.’s interview on Hot 97 radio station this past week, he was asked about his previous incarcerations. The 32-year-old Grammy-winning recording artist sat down with Cipha Sounds, Rosenberg, and K.Foxx to address various issues. At one point during the interview, Cipha Sounds put Tip in the hot seat by asking him to address rumors about being a snitch to get a lighter sentence in his illegal gun possession case. T.I. went on the defensive end and urged people who believe he is an informant to go online and ”check his paperwork.” He also insisted that he lives by the “G-Code.”

 

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13 comments

  1. @Mack Major; it's obvious you're not a street hustler before you start pushing your own opinion of what snitching is you need to first be out there first hand,and I'm not talking about the people you MAY know,who's out there grinding! I'm talking about your own experiences in the streets,so until then keep your mis informed corn ball ass opinions to your self!

    • Been there done that. Street certified homie. And I don't have to hide my face behind some fake gangsta ski-mask. Did my time. Got out. Got my life together. And the consensus among the REAL street dudes both in and out the jawn are the same: niggas like YOU got the game all jacked up. Because you don't abide by the rules of the game. Fresh out of wearing a bib trying to school an oldhead about street rules. Exactly why dudes your age are dropping like flies in the street right now. Fall back, take that emotional feminine fake wanksta attitude, sit down somewhere and get some real game under your belt. Ain't nothing glorious about living dumb and dying the same way playa.

  2. @Jamie Andres Pretell: Your POV is very well taken, @Mack Major: Spoken like a true Mack.

  3. FIRST OF ALL,WHEN YOU NEED A WITNESS TO COME FORTH WITNESSING SOMEONE SHOOTING YOUR MOTHER,DAUGHTER PROSTITUTIONING EITHER ON THE STREET OR PORNO.YOUR NOT GOING TO TELL ME THAT YOU
    WOULD NOT WANT TO KNOW.DANG THE G CODE,ITS THE REASON WHY WE
    HAVE SO MUCH OF CRIME IN THE BLACK NEIGHBORHOOD.YOU SEE IF
    EVERYBODY IS SNITCHING,NOBODY WANT TO COMMIT A CRIME. THE
    MAJORITY OF POOR BLACKS ARE RETARDED STUPID AS HELL.

  4. Jaime Andres Pretell

    Its a vicious cycle that harms both the Latino (mestizo/indigenous) and African American populations in the US. Because the local authorities were the oppressors in the past, they were seldom sought after when crimes were being committed. It has led to a mentality of shunning of the law in many communities. As well as other branches of government such as education. The problem is that it is these very institutions that are what is needed to raise these communities from their current state. If the communities distrust the police, they can't interact with them, guide them, and make sure they are on track instead of abusive. If the communities distrust the education system as brain washing (because in Jim Crow/slavery eras they were) then children can't grow and progress the community. Sad to say, but most programs that have been designed to help African Americans today are being underutilized by by many of their communities, while other Afrodescendant populations such as Afro-Caribbean, Afro-Latino and African communities take full advantage of them and thus see their communities doing much better. Same with the distrust in the police. Sure there are corrupt and racist cops. But they are empowered in communities that are not actively involved and pro-active with their local police stations. Being distrustful and less involved with helping the police actually makes them more prone to be abusive.

    • I understand your sentiment but most minorities live in the real world. Look at the city of Chicago. Our people dying everyday shot in the streets. The police is not going to be able to provide the type of police protection needed in these communities. The type of police you talk about only exists in white neighborhoods. I have lived in both communities. There is no way I am talking to the police about anything living in minority communities. Somehow someway it is going to get out that you told. While walking home from work or your kid walking from school, there is a high possibility you are going to get got. People like you are not going to be able to protect me and my family.

    • Jaime Andres Pretell

      Oh, I know what you are talking about, but that environment didn't happen overnight. It built up. And the only way to reverse direction is to slowly tear it down. I too have lived in both communities. Actually, all four. White suburbia, Black and Latino urban poverty, Latin American Urban middle Class and Barrio. The fact remains, that the only way to change the trend is for people to take risks. The type of police I am talking about evolves. It doesn't happen overnight. But you can't complain about it being better in White communities if you aren't willing to try to get it there. There have been communities that have banded together and run of drug groups. It's a hard thing and yes there is the risk of deaths. Most revolutions are. And, yes, it would be a type of revolution against a type of oppression.

  5. Unfortunately our “YOUNG PEOPLE” listening to their music and sublimially live by that, it is difficult to parent with some of the obstacles that are put out there for us to deal with. If someone has the answer to Black on Black crime please step forward!

  6. keep youre mouth shut and flies wont end up in it.

  7. Uppity negroes just don't get. I live by this one rule and teach my kids the same rule. Mind your business and keep it moving.

  8. This whole G-code thing is some pure nonsense. For starters: stop snitching was a code of honor among CROOKS. If I sold drugs and you did too, and I get caught, I wouldn't snitch on you just to get myself a lighter sentence. It was never meant to apply to civilians. The way these young dudes interpret the code is to mean that, if they was to shoot some poor old lady walking home from the grocery store, nobody in the hood should dime them out to the cops. And that's some bull. I'd drop a dime on them at the drop of a dime! Get that worthless joker away from me because he's too sick to be loose in society. Besides: people like that make the block hot for the rest of the hustlers. That ain't snitching: that's called keeping the community safe for the rest of us. Its time to re-define what stop snitching means…

  9. "It's not what you know, it's what you can prove"…Denzel aka Lonzo "Training Day".

  10. I would like to quote something from one of Spike Lee's movies. "Those who talk don't know and those who know don't talk." I live by that quote. Stop snitching to the law because in their eyes you are still just another black man/woman that they would shoot down if given the chance.

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